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The Evolution of Extra Life Game Day

Extra Life began with Victoria Enmon, a young girl from Orange, Texas. She formed an enduring friendship with Jeromy “Doc” Adams while undergoing treatment for leukemia. When Victoria passed away on January 21, 2008, Jeromy began an effort to keep her memory alive by helping other kids like her — that effort would become peer-to-peer fundraising program Extra Life. 2008, Jeromy hosted a 24-hour gaming marathon with his podcast community at Sarcastic Gamer. That 24-hour gaming marathon in 2008 was the first of what would become known as Extra Life Game Day.

The success of that first year rolled over into 2009. The novelty of playing games for 24-hours to help local communities was something that spread like wildfire through the wider gaming community. This was a time where streaming was still in its infancy and the number of charities tapping into gaming could be counted on one hand. People were hungry for ways to use their favorite hobby to help the kids at their local hospitals.

In 2010, Extra Life became a part of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and continued to grow in unprecedented ways. Just three years after it began, Extra Lifers raised over $1 million USD in 2011. Achieving that milestone was made possible due to the proliferation of streaming platforms like Twitch – and Twitch took notice. 2012 marked the year that Twitch began officially supporting Extra Life and the countless streamers broadcasting their gaming marathons to the world. That kind of support and visibility helped Extra Life’s community grow to over 100,000 participants and donors in 2014.

In 2015, Extra Life Tabletop Appreciation was born and celebrated in August with our incredible and growing tabletop playing Extra Lifers. In 2018 we celebrated Extra Life’s 10th anniversary, a great milestone for our community.

 

 

Game Day has evolved to where Extra Lifers can choose their own adventure when fundraising for their local children’s hospital and raise money year-round. Opening an Extra Life stream these days can include people getting pied in the face while playing card games at their dining room table, chill streams of games like Oxygen Not Included, or some of the most elaborate tabletop miniatures you have ever seen. No matter if you choose to game on November 7, or any day that works for you — THANK YOU.

While Extra Life might look a bit different in 2020, the fundamental mission that began in 2008 remains unchanged: Spreading the spirit of a little girl from Orange, Texas who always found time to support the kids around her. As of this year, Extra Lifers have raised over $70 million USD for hospitals across the U.S. and Canada. That mind-blowing number has been made possible by all of you – and we hope that encourages you. That incredible accomplishment is needed now more than ever in a time where COVID-19 has children’s hospitals overwhelmed and in need of additional help.

Don’t forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

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